KARACHI: This unanimous move, coming from celebrities, is part of the #StopHateforProfit campaign which was organized by civil rights activists. During this movement, participant celebrities announced that they would freeze their accounts for 24 hours on Wednesday.
“I can’t sit by and stay silent while these platforms continue to allow the spreading of hate, propaganda, and misinformation – created by groups to sow division and split America apart,” Kim Kardashian said in her statement, which came out on Tuesday. “Misinformation shared on social media has a serious impact on our elections and undermines our democracy,” she added.
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom have also joined the movement and decided to boycott Facebook and Instagram.
“I can’t sit idly by while these platforms turn a blind eye to groups and posts spreading hateful disinformation,” Perry stated on Instagram.
Various other celebrities to have joined the movement are Leonardo DiCaprio, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Ashton Kutcher who said “these tools were not built to spread hate [and] violence”.
The #StopHateForProfit campaign was launched in June. The organizers of the campaign have accused Facebook and Instagram of not doing enough to stop hate speech and misinformation.
The group is focused on Facebook, also the owner of Instagram and WhatsApp, and last year attracted an advertising revenue of about $70bn (£56.7bn).
The movement has been signed up for by thousands of businesses and major civil rights groups. These groups include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Anti-Defamation League (AD).
“We are quickly approaching one of the most consequential elections in American history,” one of the groups has said in a statement. “Facebook’s unchecked and vague ‘changes’ are falling dangerously short of what is necessary to protect our democracy.”
Along with accusations of data breaches, Facebook now has a new challenge to tackle – the hate speech it allows. In June, Facebook said it will label potentially harmful or misleading posts even if they are left up for their news value. “A handful of times a year, we leave up content that would otherwise violate our policies if the public interest value outweighs the risk of harm.” said Founder Mark Zuckerberg.
However, Zuckerberg also said the social media company would ban advertising containing claims such as ” people of a specific race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, gender identity or immigration status” are a threat to others.